Antonin Gregory Scalia, the only child of Salvatore Eugene Scalia (1903-1986) and Catherine Louise Panaro Scalia (1905-1985), was born on March 11, 1936, in Trenton, New Jersey. His father was an Italian immigrant from Sicily; he was also a “graduate student at Columbia University and clerk at the time of his son’s birth.” He later became a professor at Brooklyn College. His mother was also of Italian descent and was a teacher.
The Scalia family moved to the Elmhurst section of Queens, New York, when Antonin was six years old. He attended P.S. 13 until completing the eighth grade. He earned scholarship to Xavier High School in Manhattan; there he “graduated first in the class of 1953 and served as the valedictorian.” He considered himself “never cool” because he invested his time in schoolwork.
A former classmate described Scalia as “conservative” and “brilliant. Scalia graduated “valedictorian and summa cum laude” from Georgetown University in 1957. While in school he was “a champion collegiate debater” and “a critically praised thespian.” He studied abroad at University of Fribourg, Switzerland, as a junior in college. He “graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law in 1960.”
Scalia was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He “was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court’s conservative wing.” He “served on the Court for nearly thirty years” until he died in his sleep on the night of February 12 or the morning of February 13, 2016, at Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort near Shafter, Texas.
Justice Scalia married Maureen McCarthy in 1960, and the couple became parents of nine children. They were members of the Roman Catholic Church.